Nicholas Jones

Nicholas Jones is the New Zealand Herald’s education reporter.

Rugby World Cup: Wallabies excited to meet Lomu

Australia's David Pocock (L) tweeted this photo, taken with teammate James O'Connor and All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu. Photo / @pocockdavid via yfrog
Australia's David Pocock (L) tweeted this photo, taken with teammate James O'Connor and All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu. Photo / @pocockdavid via yfrog

Ailing rugby superstar Jonah Lomu has made a rare appearance to meet with members of the Australian Rugby World Cup squad.

Wallaby winger James O'Connor took to Twitter following the meeting, and wrote: "Awesome to chat with Jonah today - one of the most genuine blokes I've met".

Flanker David Pocock posted a photo of a black-clad Lomu with his arms around Pocock and O'Connor in Wallaby training gear.

"Great to meet the legendary Jonah Lomu. What a good bloke too," Pocock tweeted.

"Big thanks to Jonah for giving his time and having a chat," tweeted first-five Quade Cooper.

"There's no better person to talk to about life, rugby, and expectation."

Lomu was admitted to Auckland City Hospital last month and is undergoing tests to see if his failing kidney can be revived.

The 36-year-old played a key role in the Rugby World Cup opening ceremony on September 9 and appeared healthy and active.

But days later, he struggled to hold down his food, a problem that persisted for 10 days.

The rampaging All Black winger was rushed by ambulance to hospital on September 23 after struggling from nausea and weight loss, and is now on daily dialysis in hospital.

A kidney donated to him in 2004 was believed to be shutting down, which meant his body was struggling to clear waste from his system.

If Lomu's body rejects his transplanted kidney, he might face a wait of six months to eight years for a new donor, depending on how rare his blood type is.

- NZ Herald

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